The Yankees surprised everybody when they replaced backup catcher Francisco Cervelli with Chris Stewart on the final day of spring training, but despite replacing him it looks like they want to keep him in the organization.
Cervelli told Wilmer Reina of La Verdad that he’s heard that at least two teams have been interested in dealing for him, but the Yankees turned them down.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman told the press when he sent Cervelli down that he still liked him and called him one of the best 60 catchers in baseball. He explained that with Stewart out of options and Cervelli with one remaining that it was just a numbers game. 38 games into the season and Stewart has been as good too.
The reason why they might still insist on holding on to him is likely because the returns teams are proposing are less than spectacular. Cervelli is a decent backup, but no more and teams are not going to pay a lot for that. It may be that they see him as more valuable as insurance in case of an injury than some B-level prospect who may never even reach the Bronx.
Things could change by July though. Cervelli won’t fetch a lot on his own, but perhaps he might help sweeten a deal as part of a bigger package. Hopefully the Yankees will have Austin Romine back by then which would provide them with the necessary insurance that they are holding on to Cervelli for now.
Cervelli hasn’t been tearing up the minors at all. In 27 games he is hitting just .225/.282/.265/.547.